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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Santa Clarita Ca

    {SOB} Opportunity in the shadows; Danger in the light


    Opportunity in the shadows; Danger in the light
    Contributed by: Connor Williams on 3/22/2007

    Passing by you in the halls of George Washington High School, you may notice her gossiping with her friends and talking about her favorite band's latest CD. But hidden from the world, she carries a weight that bypasses any physical strain from the books tightly packed into her black bag. Seeing her at GW, students may think she is just another typical Patriot. However, she lives in the shadows of everyone else and is burdened by the constant fear of being deported to her home country, a land that has become almost foreign to her.

    "María," whose real name has been changed to protect her identity, is an undocumented Mexican immigrant. After finishing her sixth grade year in Mexico, her parents made the tough decision to leave home and start anew in the United States. Her parents, who will be referred to as José and Ángela, obtained visitors visas for María, her younger brother and themselves. José was a doctor in their home town. María describes José as a "social doctor" who obtained a large amount of debt through his medical practice because he would help others even if they could not pay. Out of his monthly pay check, his medical practice would take out a certain amount of money to compensate for the debt he had piled up, and pay checks were usually very little or nothing at all.

    Instead, José turned his attention elsewhere and led his family to America, a land rich in what he believed was golden opportunity. Though they knew that visitors visas only allowed them to stay in the country for six months, and prohibited any type of paid work, María's family decided to become what she describes as "permanent visitors."

    They came to Denver because one of María's aunts was living here and was willing to help them build a life in America.

    "She bought us a house and helps us out a lot," said María. Her aunt also helped María and her brother find schools that were suitable for their needs. Though María lived in a small town on the border of Mexico and America where she was able to learn some English, she was by no means fluent when she arrived. She was enrolled in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program where she had classes in both English and Spanish. Though she was able to become practically fluent by the end of her eighth grade year, she still had apprehensions when coming to GW.

    "GW was really hard at the beginning because I never had any of my classes in all English," said María. While not being completely fluent in English, one can only imagine how difficult it would be to take a class meant for native English speaking students.

    Despite this, María found her niche in a world of numbers and formulas, where knowing one language versus another is not important.

    "When I came to the U.S. I liked math even more because I didn't need the language in math as I did with my electives classes," said María. "I always loved it, I feel a connection with it that I don't usually feel with my other subjects."

    Currently, María is the only undocumented immigrant in her family. Her visitor's visa expired when she turned 15 and she was unable to renew it. Not having the necessary documents to stay in the country has sunk María into a world of hiding where she is always alert of her surroundings.

    María explained that as an undocumented immigrant, "You live a happy life but you also live in fear." She is constantly worrying about the possibility of deportation. Her parents carry the burden of protecting their children, and are fearful of being discovered and deported while María and her brother are at school. Though they have their documents proving that they are in the country legally, under the visitor's visa they are not allowed to work for a salary and risk the possibility of being deported.

    "We live in fear as many other people do," said Ángela. "We avoid exposing ourselves in risky places, and we try to live a calm life. Our plan is that our children go to the house of their aunt and uncle, in case we get deported."

    María often finds herself mulling over the risks she takes by living her life in America.

    "If I just got home and my parents were not there, it would be really hard," said María. "Sometimes I'm scared because I don't know what will happen if I go back. I'm scared because it's not going to be the same life, I know the American way now." María's assimilation into American culture is obvious from her looks. She sports black Vans shoes and loves the popular band Fall Out Boy. She even has a page where she stays connected to both her old Mexican friends and her new American ones as well.

    Yet, she tries to stay as true to her heritage as possible. She still speaks Spanish at home where her parents try to uphold Mexican traditions.

    "I still know most of my Mexican holidays!", exclaimed María enthusiastically. Her little brother, however, who came to America at an even younger age, has more readily accepted the American way as the only way of life.

    "I am afraid my brother will forget where he came from," said María. "At home he only wants to speak in English."

    Though her parents make very little money and are forced to work low paying jobs due to language barriers, she still depends highly on them. Her father is working as a salesman for Spanish only speaking clients and her mother works cleaning houses. Despite such struggles, her parents still wish for her to attend college.
    "I want for my children the opportunity to go to a university and get a degree," said Ángela .

    "I want to do medicine," said María. "I want to be a pediatrician and work with kids." However, the road to getting accepted to college in America for an undocumented immigrant is one of many obstacles. Because of the difficulty of getting into college for an undocumented immigrant, María's best bet would be to obtain citizenship before graduating high school.

    María, while discussing her future admitted, "I am always thinking, 'what am I going to do with my life?'"

    Unfortunately, not even María can foresee where her life will go next. As long as she remains undocumented, she will live a life of fear while hiding in the shadows of the American dream.

    "Very often, the undocumented people suffer of racism, of injustices, when the reality is that the Hispanic immigrants only come to work, to look for and to obtain their dreams," said José. ... 82323.aspx
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    North Carolina
    "permanent visitors" better know as illegal aliens.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Well, you know what? I don't like "stories" about illegal aliens with "fairy tale" endings that future liberals envision. I don't care. Illegal aliens affect American families HUGELY! I am sick and tired of the "poor immigrant" attitude that alot of liberals like "Sot" Kennedy embrace.
    I want my country to remain the same. It belongs to "we the people" and not foreigners that wish to throw their culture all around us. I cannot accept an "entire nation" moving in, and uprooting my American culture. And that is what we have here - Hispanics trying to replace a nation of Americans.

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